Letters to the Editor

Readers share views on taxes, Kansas government and Charlie Hebdo

Tax cut competition

In 2014, the Missouri legislature passed a modest income tax reduction, which, given its size, by no means solved the state’s tax competitiveness problems. That fact is made clearer by the news now coming from some of Missouri’s neighbors.

For instance in Iowa — where state lawmakers cut taxes as recently as 2013 — the income tax reform movement is already getting bipartisan support. But Iowa isn’t the only border state looking to make income tax changes.

In neighboring Nebraska, legislators are exploring a round of tax cuts of their own that would also chop the state’s tax on incomes.

On Missouri’s southern border, Arkansas is looking to cut its income taxes, too, in part by getting the state’s tax exemption culture under control.

Missouri lawmakers deserved applause for finally getting a tax cut across the finish line in 2014, and make no mistake: Support for tax relief has never been greater in the Missouri legislature than it will be in 2015.

Legislative leaders should not sit on their hands and let the opportunity pass them by. Our neighbors certainly aren’t.

Patrick Ishmael

Senior Policy Analyst

Show-Me Institute

Kansas City

Kansas government

Before the midterm elections, the governor of Kansas insisted that the state was financially sound. Now we face a huge debt.

He is either ignorant or a liar or both.

I guess the voters of Kansas got the government they deserve.

Shaun Q. McMahon


Thanks for courage

Thank you for the courage to print the cartoons on the protest of the tragedy at Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Jim Laufenberg


Positive change lost

Like others who have watched the reactions of professional athletes to last year’s grand jury decisions in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, I have questions:

Where was the care and concern for the living conditions of men like Brown and Garner when they were alive?

Where is the outrage against the news stories about athletes who beat women and physically abuse their children? Where was the outrage against Michael Vick and the brutality of helpless animals in the name of sport? Where is the outrage over Bill Cosby’s alleged sexual assaults?

I understand and sympathize with the outrage against social and judicial injustice fueled by racism, and it is hard to accept a grand jury’s ruling when sensational headlines are printed, broadcast and repeated before all the salient facts are in.

However, justice is not always a blanket that fits comfortably over all circumstances and to everyone’s satisfaction.

O.J. Simpson’s acquittal in the brutal murder of two defenseless people comes to mind.

I also understand that high-profile athletes have every right to exercise their First Amendment rights. Unfortunately, uninformed grandstanding calls into question one’s motives and does little or nothing that leads to positive social change.

Diane E. Ferguson

Manhattan, Kan.

U.S. Constitution

Scholarship is important. We tell our kids it is important.

We tell them to do their homework, study hard and pay attention to things that matter. Knowing the difference between truth and fiction is important.

Those who signed the Constitution believed it was essential for this document to be able to be amended peacefully by the states to maintain federalism or a balance of power. Proposing amendments is very different from having a constitutional convention.

In a discussion about our Constitution, we can’t afford to not do our homework. We must resist the temptation to trust inaccurate, incomplete and agenda-driven scholarship.

It’s time to take a fresh look at exactly what Article V calls for when it provides for a convention of states. What it provides for is simply an interstate study committee. This committee has no power outside of making recommendations or proposals.

Nowhere in the Constitution, especially in Article V, does the document allow or call for a constitutional convention.

The article specifically calls for a convention to propose amendments, and the two are as different as night and day.

Keith Carmichael

Lowry City, Mo.

Including police

Here are some initial thoughts on basketball games, potlucks or community get-togethers that include law enforcement.

Should protests have sponsors to provide sodas, snacks, T-shirts or their equal?

Youth sports leagues could include law enforcement. Building bridges would likely be a long, hard, slow process.

Would it take community policing or other ideas?

The front of T-shirts could say: “Know each other,” or “Breathe easier.” The back of the T-shirts could say, “All lives matter,” or “All lives are equal.”

Sponsor logos on shirts could be local professional, college or school athletes or law enforcement and businesses.

Wade Hildenbrand

Blue Springs

Football tackles

I’m an old guy who has been a hard-core football fan for many, many years.

Back in the old days, the coaches (for both the pros and the colleges) would tell their defensive players to “hit them hard and tackle as low as possible — they can’t run if their legs are tied together.”

They would tell them to tackle — “hit the other guy very hard while wrapping your arms around him, and then hang on for dear life.”

As time went by, I began to notice college players doing this super-cool-looking “body block,” where they act more like they’re blocking so they can just knock the other guy down, and they brought that technique to the NFL with them.

The problem with that stupid body block, as cool as it looks, is that a good running back or receiver can roll off and just keep going.

When the team I’m rooting for lets some running back or receiver roll off a body block and pick up a bunch more yards, I say some really bad things.

It would probably be interesting to note which technique is used by the teams with really good defenses.

Neil Simmons

Bates City, Mo.

Red-light lesson

Are you kidding me? Are we not responsible for any of our actions?

We run a red light but we are not guilty because there was only a camera present to prove our guilt (1-9, A1, “Refunds offered for red-light tickets”).

We break a law, but if we have money to hire a high-priced lawyer, our crime is changed to something else, and voila, not guilty again.

We live in a sue-everyone-for-any-and-everything society so we again can rob, but you guessed it, not guilty.

We received a red-light-camera letter but don’t want the $20 of the $100 it cost because we were guilty. We probably learned a lesson to boot.

What a concept — learn from mistakes.

Freida Wiley

Cowgill, Mo.

Red-light hustle

On Lynn Horsley’s Jan. 8 story, “Refunds offered for red-light tickets,” those who didn’t pay fines are off the hook in Kansas City. Really?

Does anyone else think this proposed settlement is unfair?

As stated in the story, city prosecutor Keith Ludwig made the decision to dismiss the many pending violations as well as prior violations in which people simply failed to pay.

He said, “It’s just not fair to keep those people hanging on.” Really?

I guess I just shouldn’t have paid the $100 fine assessed to me while someone else was driving my car. After all, “It’s just not fair to leave me hanging” with the bad rap.

I feel so stupid. I could have $100 in my pocket instead of the measly $20 being offered as my settlement.

I’m told I can object and exclude myself from the settlement if I want to preserve my right to sue.

I have to do that by Feb. 28. Any attorneys out there willing to take this on pro bono?

Or am I left simply to acquiesce?

P.S. The red-light program has flaws to be improved upon, but overall, I think it makes for safer drivers and streets in Kansas City.

Marilyn Woods

Kansas City